Movie anyone? No? Why not try this?
Heavy Rain is Quantic Dream's latest umm... adventure, thriller and movie game and if haven't yet already known, they also made Fahrenheit or Indigo Prophecy in the US. Like Fahrenheit, Heavy Rain follows the events of your currently controlled character, but instead of just 2 characters, there are 4 to attend to this time. And like a movie, this game only follows a certain character in each chapter or segment of a game and each chapter, to my surprise, is quite different in a way that you need to see for yourself in order to get what I'm talking about.
The game revolves around a serial killer called the Origami Killer, who for some reason did not stab or shoots his victims, but rather drowns them and leaves behind an Origami piece and an Orchid on the victim, a very symbolic piece in the game's story and it becomes a familiar part of the game to the player as you play along. Without spoiling much, the game's 4 PCs have a specific reason to find and hunt down this killer, whether personal or not.
Technically speaking, the game is B-E-A-U...tiful. Its environment, detail and lighting is something I really have to praise about, because throughout the game the game manages to keep that ONE theme in the game consistent; rainy weather. It becomes a heavy symbol in the game, it can show the character's feelings, situation or what the player can interpret. Character Models are very nicely detailed and shaded, and they managed to get the facial expressions just right for a particular scene and I really enjoyed the emotions and voice acting done to bring the characters to life.
Gameplay wise this game has a newer control scheme, and to players that are used to move the character the usual way, they will need to get used to it, and once you do, it becomes something that makes sense. As in Fahrenheit, Quick time events are present in the game and basically these events will determine the character fate and route to what you will have to do. Also that means that the player can't stop for a pop corn break, hehe.
What I really like about this game is the decision players have to make, no not the decision making system itself but the decisions itself that leave an impact to the characters.
Why? Lemme explain.
The decisions in the game have two factors in them; morality and compassion. For example, in a robbery, one decision may be morally good but it may require you to be rough to a certain character, while another may not be morally good but you leave them alone and let be their way. These decision are the driving factor to what the player expects in a story and these decisions always have unexpected results.
These unexpected results are always due to the cast of characters in the game, they always keep you guessing; their personalities, how they react to your actions and how they find your opinion to be good or not?
Overall, the game is BEAUTIFUL and while the gameplay is awkward to some people, it is a ride that will stay with you for a long, long, LONG time. A movie-like experience which people seemed to like in the past with MGS4 and Uncharted 2 is there, which is a plus to me as well, but unlike the other 2 games I mentioned, Heavy Rain leaves you with a message; How much are you willing to go to save the one you love?
If you don't like the suspense or the theme of the game which is always dark and moody for the most part or do not like game which heavily forces you to watch all the cutscenes without skipping them, I suggest you try steel yourself because you would be missing out on a lot, and the emotional drive that leaves you thinking about stuff you never thought of.
Though, you are still welcome to pick it up.